A LARGE grass fire broke out last night threatening wildlife and residents.

Fire crews from Rawtenstall and Bacup were sent out to the two grass fires reported on the moors above Bacup at 9.50pm.

They did not leave the area until 1.05am. Nobody was reported injured but wildlife was affected in the devastating blaze which spread from Whitworth.

Seb Parkinson, from Bacup, said: “When I saw the fire I said to my partner what is going on up there and then saw a horde of fire engines heading up there.

“It was the moors that was on fire. Spread from Whitworth to Bacup between Cowm Quarry and Lee Quarry.

“It began yesterday. I reckon it started around 5pm yesterday but no idea what caused it.”

Another nearby resident, Tony Ikswoktur, said: “The top of the moors which looked to be towards Cragg Quarry, was completely alight with lots of smoke.

“At this time of year I wasn’t certain if it was controlled burning or not, after watching, it looked to large as I decided to call the fire brigade to be on the safe side.”

A spokesman for Bacup Fire Services, said: “We want people to be safe on the moor. Even when the grass is wet, it is still dry on top so can ignite easily. Extra care must be taken.”

No cause of the fire is yet known and is under investigation.